Looking for affirmation

Someone recently lamented to me about constantly experiencing disappointment in the light of other people’s promises.

“When people tell me they’ll do something, or say something particularly positive and appealing, I swallow it – hook, line and sinker. But nine times out of ten, I find out they never really meant it. Or they were just being polite. Either way, it leaves me feeling incredibly low.”

I know how they feel. And every time someone fails to be authentic in what they say or offer to me, it’s another blow to my courage in remaining vulnerable and authentic in myself.

My friend was conflicted, searching for reasons: “Does believing what they say make me optimistic or just plain gullible? Am I being naïve? I feel I’m in danger of becoming cynical about these things.”

It’s a tricky one. Many of us love the refreshing optimism and idealistic outlook that children display, an attitude they hold until the hard realities of life teach them otherwise. Yet it’s all too easy to fall into cold hard cynicism, expecting nothing more than disappointment and pain from people because experience has taught us that this is what invariably happens.

My friend has decided to begin the long, difficult process of adjusting her expectations of other people.

“I want to trust people and believe the best of them,” she said sadly, “but maybe I’m looking for affirmation in all the wrong places.”

Gives me food for thought. How about you?

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2 thoughts on “Looking for affirmation

  1. Christopher Snell April 25, 2014 at 1:43 pm Reply

    The art of discernment is an inner gauge of the value I place on what is said. “Do I take this to heart, or do I allow this to roll off my back”? How was it said, was it intimately said, or was it causal? Was it said by someone in my close inner circle, or was it from an acquaintance?
    People aren’t here to always make you happy, you are here to learn how to navigate your own happiness. And that is the truth of it. The Christ expression comes from inside you, as an expression from the inside out. An affirmation also is your own creation, when we seek validation from another person, what we get is an expression from their emotional experience. Which may not always be a good thing, like what you are learning right now.
    So, in your own heart are the answers to all your questions.
    My blessings to you…

    • vulnerablechristian April 25, 2014 at 2:03 pm Reply

      Hi Christopher,

      Thanks for your thoughts and taking time to share them 🙂

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